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So sad to lose a chicken for the first time

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fiddleblue, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Songster

    Jul 19, 2009
    We have had chickens for about a year, and lost the first one today, a 3 month old Easter Egger, to a raccoon at 11pm. I have a henhouse that the older hens roost in , but the newer Easter Eggers are still getting picked on by the older girls and have chosen to roost outside in the coop, which is completely wire-enclosed, but has some weak spots covered only in chicken wire under a tree. That's where the coon came through. WHen I heard the squawking I arrived with a flashlight and saw the coon trying to pull the carcass of Wendy, the beautiful EE, through the wire. I pulled at her body and kept it. Then I got a pellet gun and shot the coon in the face, who was hanging around, hoping to retrieve the rest of Wendy I guess. THe pellet didn't kill it but did hurt it and it wandered off. I put the other EE in the henhouse with the older girls and she whimpered for a long while, since she so loved her sister. THey were always together, couldn't stand to be apart, them against the whole world. It's terribly sad. I hope she can get along with some of the older girls because otherwise she'll be so lonely she might die of heartbreak. Anyone have any experience with lonely, heartbroken chickens? I thought about maybe she might need a new buddy, another "newbie" to the flock who she can buddy up with.
  2. Breac

    Breac Songster

    Apr 20, 2010
    I'm so sorry for the loss of your hen, Wendy. The first loss is always tough. My advice right now is to set a large Have-A-Hart (live animal) trap baited with either an egg or wet cat food. Unfortunately, even though the beastie was injured, it'll most likely try to come back at some point since it has now equated your coop with a meal. I've found that raccoons are fairly easy animals to trap. Once you get him, either humanely kill it or release it more than a mile from your location. Raccoons can travel VERY far to find their way back home!

    As for her sister, I don't think a new companion is a good idea. A single new chicken will have a pretty tough time trying to integrate into the flock. She'll most likely be bullies harshly. I don't think Wendy's sister would warm up to the new arrival either. Chickens (in my experience) rarely 'buddy up' with strangers. I do think her sister will mourn; I know chickens are capable of that. However, chickens tend to move on pretty quickly. I think you'll just need to keep a close eye on them and watch out for the return of the raccoon.

    Good luck, and best wishes for your hens!
  3. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Songster

    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    I'm so sorry for your loss!

    I lost my little roo last night too. I dreamt about him all night last night. And have been crying all morning.

    There was nothing I could do to prevent the attack, though I did save one of my hens from the fox's mouth. But if I were you, I'd take a good look at your run and seal up EVERY SINGLE weak spot. The coons will always come back and they have a whole night to find their way in.
  4. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    [​IMG] I am so sorry about your poor baby! I don't think it gets any easier to deal with the loss of a chicken, no matter if it's the first or 10th or 20th. As for the raccoon, if you do trap him in a live trap and decide to re-locate him, you must take him at least 20 miles from where you trap him. Otherwise, he'll be back sooner or later. I agree with the former reply that you need to go out and make sure the entire pen is completely secure against predators, because where there is one coon, there could be 20, and I'm sures there are probably other predators around as well----opossum, skunks, weasels, coyotes, fox, even neighbors' cats and dogs. Anyway, good luck, and hopefully you won't experience any loss like this in the near future.

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